The particular details of the operation all share the common goal of elevating the nipple and areola on the chest wall while minimizing incisions and scars as much as possible.
Based on the amount of ptosis, the type of lift is determined. There are four major breast lift approaches:
- Crescent lift is when the areola is moved upward by the removal of skin above the areola. As a general rule, any more than 1 cm of this type of lift can distort the shape of the areola by elongating it. Of note, it does NOT lift the breast. This is a nipple lift only.
- Periareolar lift is also commonly referred to as Benelli lift. This type of lift removes skin circumferentially around the areola with more removed tissue removed on the top than the bottom. The result is a smaller, more elevated nipple and areola at the expense of a slightly flatter looking breast. Depending on the surgeon and breast, the breast itself may also be lifted with this approach. Approximately 1.5 cm of nipple elevation can be expected with this type of surgery. A lift of more than 2 cm often flattens the breast and leads to widened scars around the areola.
- Vertical lift refers to the inclusion of a periareolar lift plus an incision that runs from the areola down to the fold in a vertical direction. This is the preferred type of lift for mild to moderate breast ptosis since it spares the incision (scar) in the breast fold.
- Inverted T or anchor incision is the fourth type of breast lift. The incisions include the periareolar incision, vertical, and horizontal scars in the fold, and are reserved for breasts that are the most ptotic.